Cebu City – Cebu will getting a total of 21,600 Covid-19 vaccines with the new arrival of the Sinovac and Astrazeneca vaccines in the country.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of Department of Health (DOH) in Region 7, made this disclosure during her daily briefing “Balitanghali” streamed live thru Project Balik Buhay and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Facebook pages.
Of this number, 7,200 doses are from Sinovac while 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca. This will be used to inoculate 10,800 individuals, said Dr. Loreche.
The 7,200 doses of Sinovac Corona Vac arrived in Cebu Tuesday morning.
The additional vaccines is part of the total 1.4 million doses of Sinovac Biotech that have arrived in the country.
On Monday afternoon, President Rodrigo Duterte personally welcomed the arrival of one million doses of Sinovac Biotech vaccines at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
This is the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines that costs P700 million and paid for by the government. The Philippine government plans to buy a total of 25 million doses of Corona Vac.
Earlier, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go also welcomed the arrival of 400,000 doses of Corona Vac.
The said doses are part of the one million-dose donation committed by China. The initial 600,000 doses have already been delivered late last month.
Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas said he is looking forward to the arrival of additional doses of the Sinovac vaccines in the region.
Dino said the arrival of the second batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by China is another major milestone in the government’s national vaccination program.
The Secretary gave assurance that there would be no delay in the vaccine rollout despite the vaccine supply woes globally.
More deliveries of vaccines from other sources are expected to arrive in the country in the coming weeks and months, under the National Vaccine Roadmap, he pointed out.
For his part, Senator Go also reiterated that health workers need to be prioritized for the vaccines to protect them against the virus while doing their job of containing the pandemic in the country.
Go, who is the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, explained that the Philippine government is working very hard to inoculate 1.7 million frontliners and that the target should be met to attain herd immunity.
“Importante ‘yung mga health workers natin. Madami po akong nababalitaan na mayroong mga nauuna. Dapat muna nating protektahan ang ating mga health workers. We should arm them since sila po ang sinasabak natin dito sa giyerang ito. Dapat armasan po natin ang ating mga health workers sa pamamagitan ng bakuna,” the senator said.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said he hopes the second batch of donations will help the Philippines speed up the rollout of the national inoculation campaign in its efforts to address the current resurgence of cases.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe. In the face of the spread of new COVID-19 variants across the globe, and the resurgence of cases in the Philippines, we need to race against time in our efforts to speed up the mass inoculation process,” the Chinese envoy said on his official Facebook page.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also noted that the additional vaccine would be a great help with the rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We are grateful for the arrival of additional donated vaccines. The arrival of these vaccines could not have occurred at a more opportune time considering the continued rise in cases, which in turn increases the need to inoculate more high-risk individuals as soon as possible,” said Secretary Duque.
The additional donated CoronaVac vaccines will boost the country’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program, especially with the increased cases.
“The arrival of these donated vaccines from China is a testament that when all nations are working together, we can surmount any challenges ahead. The Philippine government will continue to strengthen its collaboration with China to finally put an end to this pandemic,” Secretary Galvez said.
Initial doses from Sinovac and AstraZeneca are currently being rolled out in the country.
The Philippine government is involved in ongoing negotiations with different pharmaceutical companies to ensure that the country secures enough doses to vaccinate 70 million of the population. This number is needed to achieve herd immunity.
The country expects the arrival of 979,200 doses additional AstraZeneca doses donated through the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility./PR